All About Cavaliers

Please feel free to have a scroll through the information here. We have spent many years writing and researching the information on this page so hopefully it answers your burning questions. If not, please feel free to reach out.

Does a Cavalier suit me?

Please take the time to carefully read our Frequently Asked Questions.
Still have questions?! Please contact us

Throughout history Cavaliers were the dogs of choice for the Monarchy. If you look closely at famous paintings of members of the Monarchy, you will most likely see a Cavalier snuggled up next to a queen or princess in a corset, or under the trawls of her dress.

Famously in 1578, when Mary Queen of Scots was beheaded, her toy spaniel was under her dress. Her loyal companion refused to leave her side, passing away a few days later out of grief.

It’s imperative to understand the nature of Cavaliers to consider if they are a good fit for your lifestyle. Cavaliers are loyal to the end. They want nothing more than to be a companion and be by your side.

If you are willing and able to give a Cavalier the devotion and time that it will unquestioningly give you, you could be a perfect fit. 

For this reason, most of our Cavaliers go to homes where the owner is home full time or ability to bring their dog to their work. People in retirement homes, as well as retirees, adopt many of our Cavaliers.

We are told time and time again that Cavaliers adapt perfectly to family life. They are gentle in nature and a good size for interacting with children..

Large breeds rarely do well in small apartments, unless they get a lot of exercises. Cavaliers are not an overly active breed, therefore, they will take a walk with you or the kids if you’re going, but are also quite content doing ‘zoomies’ (running around in circles) to exert energy when needed.

Cavaliers have a gentle, personable, and compassionate nature. They are undoubtedly the best breed and their temperament is just one reason.

Cavaliers are rarely aggressive or snappy. They may be protective about their food and their ‘den’ (safe space - crate or other claimed space) but otherwise are extremely quiet and gentle-nature dogs.

There are some similarities drawn between Cavaliers, Greyhounds, and even horses in terms of their nature. They are extremely sensitive to touch and emotions around them.

A Cavalier’s last resort is to bite. Its first resort is being territorial, for example, hovering or showing teeth. The cavalier will growl or snarl if they feel you haven’t “gotten the message”.

It’s important to recognize and understand these behaviors. It is also important to teach them to children if the Cavalier is going into a family home.

Cavaliers are the most suitable breed to have as a companion. They're loyal and personable nature makes them perfect additions to a home. 

At Kingswear Cavaliers, we classify Cavaliers as companion dogs. By this, we mean they need to be with someone most of the time. This can be another dog (any breed, not just Cavaliers) or a person; but they need someone.

Often their inseparability makes them ideal as therapy dogs, companion dogs for a teenager living at home, the elderly, stay-at-home parents, or people working from home permanently.

Just remember that if they alter your work schedule because of COVID, look ahead to accommodate this change. Cavaliers will not do well with a tremendous change of spending 7 days a week with them to spending 2 days.

We have received many emails from people who use Cavaliers as therapy dogs.

A therapy dog is any dog where of its primary function is therapy for the person. Cavaliers are popular in this realm for many reasons:

- Their small size makes Cavaliers easily portable for car trips, planes, etc.

- Their loyal nature binds them to their owner

- They often end up on your bed with you

- They accommodate your schedule and often assimilate into your exact daily routine

Cavaliers overall generally seem to be happy no matter the circumstances, if they are with someone who loves them.

There are quite a few circumstances where a Cavalier may not be the best breed for your home.

Cavaliers are companion dogs, meaning that they need to be with someone most of the time. Just because Cavaliers can assimilate into most peoples’ homes doesn’t mean that they should.

Cavaliers need constant companionship. This is in their DNA, their breed profile, and everything that we love about the breed. Ultimately, it is not fair on the Cavalier, possibly even cruel, to leave a Cavalier on its own for most of its lifetime.

During Covid, for instance, we received a lot of applications from people who had just taken off work for Covid. These people wanted a companion while they were working at home. It is wonderful that they are starting their journey into companionship with a Cavalier, but we believe these are not the right circumstances. With a Cavalier, you must start the relationship as you mean to go on.

If you work from home and you intend to do so for the next 10 years, then a Cavalier may be a good fit for you. This is because you will always be there to keep them company.

Another common house that we send Cavaliers to be retirees. We receive a lot of emails from retirees’ children who are looking for a companion for their parents. We at Kingswear Cavalier think this is admirable. However, we do like to speak to the parents first as well, to ensure that they understand the commitment that they are undertaking.

Sometimes people let us know they are only working part-time or a few hours a day. For example, if they are a chef that works in the morning. In our experience, especially if they have children, this doesn’t always equate to a suitable home.

We find that even if you are not scheduled to work during the day, if there are several errands, such as shopping, out-of-school activities, exam preparation, getting the car serviced, and several other activities that would take you away from your home. You need to factor these in.

It is okay to leave your Cavalier alone for particular amounts of time, but you just need to be aware of the commitment. Keep in mind they need to be with someone every minute of every day.

To this effect, if people have another dog at home, the application will go to the top of the list. Second, if they are thinking of getting a second Cavalier, then their application will also go to the top of the list.

Cavaliers will thrive with the companionship of another Cavalier. Most dogs get along with Cavaliers. But, because Cavaliers are so timid by nature, there can be repercussions for introducing them too quickly to dogs who are aggressive or have already set their territory. There are specific ways to introduce a Cavalier into your home where a dog already exists.

Some breeders talk of ‘littermate’ syndrome. We understand the theory behind this, but we have not found it to be true in our experience. We have sent many siblings, for example, two pups from the same litter, to a home where they’ve both blossomed into beautiful dogs with a life companion.

Unlike a lot of breeds, there isn’t an enormous difference between Cavalier girls and boys.

As a general rule of thumb, and in our experience, we find that:

- Males are a little calmer, a little less frantic, and a little less clingy. They can be more confident and won’t hesitate to walk you to the cupboard to let you know they’re ready for a treat.

- Females can be a little more clingy and may like to invite themselves into your bed or onto your lap on the couch.

Please note that males who are not neutered will hump your leg and mark their territory a bit in new environments. It will continue until they are neutered (and then occasionally after).

Females will get their ‘period’ every 6-7 months. When this happens, they bleed from their vulva several times a day for a week. This is perfectly natural and will also quieten down once spayed.

Occasionally we will have older dogs that need re-homing. Sometimes these are ours, and sometimes they are from homes whose circumstances have changed.

Please inquire by filling in the application form and selecting the ‘older dog’ option. We may not get back to you right away, but as soon as we have or hear of an older dog who needs a new home, we will review all the all the applications and be in contact if we think you’re a good fit for the particular dog.

The fees are usually nominal and are lower the older the dog is.

Training and exercise requirements

This is our experience and our recommendations in what to look for in a puppy and in a breeder.

Historically Spaniels were used as hunting dogs in The UK. They get excited by flickering movements and will chase them down at all costs.

You may notice that their instincts take over and suddenly you will find yourself with a big deep hole that you didn’t think was possible by such a small creature.

If you leave a Cavalier alone for 10 minutes, you may find a cat in the garden next door distracts them. You may also come out and find that your Cavalier is no longer there. Cavaliers have some need for exercise in these regards.

Although everyone dreams of the “perfect” dog who runs to fetch a stick, Cavaliers will not fit this agenda. We categorize them as companion dogs. This means that they thrive when in a company of any sort. This may mean being with other dogs, and it may mean being with humans.

What this means as a Cavalier owner is that you understand a Cavalier is most content when you are happy as their master. There is not a lot of training required, and sometimes, none may be required. The only training that we find the most effective is the training that allows the dogs to see that you are happy with them and that you will remain their companion. This is their ultimate desire.

Your Cavalier is just happy to be with you. Cavaliers are also not the brightest bulb in the tanning bed for training. If you throw a stick for a Cavalier, they are likely to fetch the stick, pick it up, aiming to come back to you, and get distracted on the way back by something else.

If you are looking for a family dog who will fetch, stay behind a door, or any other particular niche training elements that you may have seen, then a cavalier, in particular, may not be for you. It is also possible to get a second dog at some stage who may fulfill these needs. As mentioned, Cavaliers will thrive with another dog.

Cavaliers do not need as much exercise as other dogs. They require a small amount for their health, such as their joints and their heart. They do not need to spend hours a day running around, as other dogs may.

Keep in mind, Spaniels historically have been used as hunting dogs. So, they do love running across a field and chasing anything that catches their eye. If you are throwing a stick, this will be the thing, at the moment, that captures their attention. However, if they see a bird fly past, that attention may waiver. Therefore, patience is required when training Cavaliers and you must respect the boundaries of the breed.

Overall, Cavaliers are not big exercisers. We get a lot of emails from prospective families who LOVE to exercise and they would like a companion for that. Although Cavaliers will follow you, for them, it is more about being with you rather than the activity of walking itself. They find it hard to keep focused and will get distracted on your walk. Whether this is a bonus, we are not sure.

You will get stopped several times on a walk because you have a Cavalier. We have heard from many of our families that they have stopped making eye contact with when they walk past people because everyone wants a pet and a cuddle.

Families should understand the exercise requirements from a health perspective of a Cavalier, but if they’re looking specifically for a dog that loves exercising all day, will keep focus, and is happy to walk at your pace instead of their stubborn one, then a Cavalier may not be the best choice for you.

Puppy training schools are a great idea for many reasons, including socialization and trainer insight. It is best to find a group that is specific to Cavaliers, or one with a reputable trainer who understands the needs of the breed.

Cavaliers differ from other dogs in that they don’t need as much training. We also find that Cavalier owners prefer the dog follow them around and slip into their lifestyle without them needing to adjust much. The Cavaliers will be respectful enough of your lifestyle and will only want to make you pleased.

Training Cavaliers will differ from with other dogs who require a firmer hand or need small cubes of cheese or meat. Cavaliers can be a little more sensitive to different foods, and honestly, may not need them. This may change the relationship you have with your dog, as your dog may see you as a food bank.

Being an extremely social dog, Cavaliers will want to greet any other Cavalier. Where other dogs have warning barks, this is not so much the case for Cavaliers as they are more interested.

Not all dog breeds are friendly with other dog breeds. This also can come down a lot to the temperament of the other dog. A lot of dogs, especially in metropolitan areas, are not exposed to other dogs.

This means that they are not well socialized, and may not take well to a Cavalier nipping at their heels or excitedly jumping on them. This can be fatal for a small dog like a Cavalier. Some dogs who have not had a lot of socialization with other dogs may not know their strength.

Although dogs give a warning growl and a bark before a small nip on the neck, if it has not been exposed to other Cavaliers and does not yet know their strength, they may attack your Cavalier with a fatal blow. This is an unfortunate reality of dogs coming together or dogs who have not been well socialized before coming together.

You always find that Cavaliers’ instincts take over. They cannot help it. It is the breed. Even when you think you have complete control of your Cavalier and you know it inside and out, the second it sees something that grabs its attention, because of instinct, it will take off. For this reason, even when you trust them, they need to be on a leash.

The best leashes are the retractable ones. These can go up to around 6.00 to 8.00 meters. This is beneficial so that the Cavalier feels like they can get away from you while you can still maintain control. When they’re younger, these may be okay, although it may be better to train them to stay near you as much as possible when they are younger. This is when a normal lead will do.

You do not want the leash too heavy or it will pull the collar down around the Cavaliers’ neck. Keep the leash out of sight for the Cavaliers, as they will detect an interesting smell, and go about chewing it. You may not realize the dog has been chewing the lead until it breaks and the Cavalier runs off mid-walk. This can have devastating consequences.

The other thing to keep in mind when purchasing a leash is, the handle will wear out your hand quickly if the dog is a puller. I may incline you to purchase a collar with a padded handle. A galvanized clip is also better. You can mostly avoid cheap items by going to a pet store and looking for a middle to an upper-range product. You will tell fairly quickly which are the sturdy items, which are the designer ones, which are lower quality, and which are the cheap ones.

To properly train your dog to walk on and to hold the leash is by holding the handle in your opposite hand and holding the leash in the hand of the same side the Cavalier is. This allows you to maintain control by using both hands.

We also recommend that you train the dog to walk by your side. If you are in a metropolitan area where the footpaths are short, you will need this to ensure that your dog does not jump on other people. The people may not react in a way that you like. It is also important to train your dog not to run onto the road, or go near another dog that you do not know is safe yet.

Where is the best place for a Cavalier to sleep?

In your bed, in their crate, in your heart.

Cavalier owners will often start off intending to have a designated sleeping area for their Cavalier. But usually, the Cavalier sleeps on the bed with the humans. This is because Cavaliers sleep very similar hours to humans. They don’t take up much space, and they are quite happy to sleep with you. 

It is not fair to kick the Cavaliers off the bed if you start with them on the bed. For example, demoting them off the bed with you into the corner. They may whine, whimper, be confused, and feel like they are being punished. For this reason, you need to set up how you intend to finish.

There are many factors to consider when deciding on bedding for your dog. Dogs will sleep the same hours as humans. Perhaps a little more; like midday naps, especially if you go for a long walk or exercise.

But Cavaliers can be stubborn for sleep. If you need to get up early in the morning, a Cavalier may be okay with this. But, they also may not, it depends on the individual dog. You can’t let your dog negatively affect your schedule and life.

Otherwise, you might at some point come to resent them for the impact they have on your life. Therefore, the sleeping situation must be sustainable long-term for you.

A good idea may try many beds. This allows you to see which is most comfortable and in which positions. For example, a bed that catches the afternoon sun through a window in the living room may be used at specific times, and one in the laundry room where it is quiet may be used at other times. You also need to decide where your main nighttime sleeping bed will be.

As mentioned previously, Cavaliers chase after the nearest thing that catches their attention. This can mean that during the night they get distracted by the odd car going past or noise that they do not recognise.

This can affect their sleep and yours. It could then impact your lifestyle. Consider adding a door to the kennel so they not only feel safe but understand that they don’t need to chase after and investigate every noise/light they do not recognise.

Cavaliers hear up to four times as much as humans, so even when you can’t hear a car going past, a Cavalier can. If they hear a sound they do not recognize, they will question it, usually by barking. A kennel that has a door, and perhaps even a blanket over the front, will make a Cavalier feel safe and content during the night. You can watch for these behaviors and make an informed decision for yourself.

The most common option is a bed of their own. Preferably, this bed will not be washed too often so it can keep a scent for them and they know it is their territory. It should be somewhere they can get peace.

You should try to avoid picking them up directly from the bed, however, you can call them and see if they want to come to you. There is a fine line between not letting a Cavalier run the house and giving it its own space and time to rest. If a cavalier has had a long day and wants to sleep, and then the children come home and want to play, you must find a balance that is respectful of both.

The best beds are made specifically for dogs, from a reputable pet shop either online or locally. The bedding needs to be made of non-toxic materials, and the stuffing should be non-toxic as well. Cavaliers as adults are not so picky, but puppies are.

You need to watch anything that is below knee height or is accessible via climbing, to make sure that it is not dangerous or toxic for the dog. Puppies will pick up anything and everything that takes their attention. Ideally, you should have a blanket in their bed which is their own. Someone should not wash too often the blanket and you should use only chemicals that are safe for dogs and not too strong. The dog needs to understand that this is his and his territory and his or her safe space.

As Cavaliers get older, it will be easier if the bed is lower and they do not have to climb up and down. That way, when they want to see what is going on, they can sit and enjoy it without having to climb. The bedding should have adequate padding at the bottom and around the edges. Cavaliers come predisposed with breathing issues because of their unusually short noses. This means that one of the Cavaliers’ favorite positions is with their head over the side of an object.

You may often see a Cavalier pushing its bedding around in a circle, dragging it with its teeth to make it a comfortable position. They may also sleep lying flat down with their head extended. This gives their airways a clear passage. A ridge on the bed rather than a flat mat or pillow may be beneficial. If a pillow is the only option, then you may find that the Cavalier sleeps off the edge and has their head on the highest part to give them clear access to their airway.

It is common for puppies to become rough and chew on their bedding. Some Cavaliers are chewier than other dogs. One of the more popular types of beds are of hard plastic. It has a lowered front and a raised back around the edge. Your Cavalier may chew this as a puppy, but it will not be big enough for an adult, so it is okay if they chew it. Because it is hard plastic, it will need either padding on the bottom or a blanket for them to keep warm and to keep their scent.

Another type of bed that is popular is one that has a metal frame and sleeves. These sleeves are removable and replaceable so that if your dog chews them, you can replace them. They can be both metal or hard plastic. These are a great option because they are anti-tear. This means that the fibers are made so they can’t be easily ripped.

If your Cavalier is going to sleep on your bed, you need to be sure that you are not a rough sleeper and will accidentally kick them off the bed during the night. This may knock their heads or break bones. If it is a low bed and the Cavalier can get up on their own, this should be adequate.

Again, make sure that your bedding is not toxic to dogs. Especially if they are puppies and if they are chewing. You also need to realize that any dog that sleeps on your bed may leave some shedding or may even occasionally have an accident there.

You can get steps or ramps from pet stores that go up to the bed and allow the dogs to go on and off if needed. This is a good idea, except that if the dog fell off, they would be injured. Here, the dog should not be getting on the bed at all. Cuddles are okay, although like we mentioned, a Cavalier may become confused if you only let them on the bed sometimes.

There is a fine line with Cavaliers between obedience training and them registering your actions as punishment because the Cavaliers are not overly sensitive to training. They are sensitive towards your actions towards them as social creatures.

Aside from beds in the house, kennels are also a great idea. Kennels or crates are a popular option with Cavalier owners. Cavaliers like to feel as if they’re being snuggled and are safe. They are tiny dogs, after all. Cavaliers may be quite content to go into a kennel at night, even if it has a door.

Kennels come in all different shapes and sizes. They can be modern or traditional looking and can suit your house well. Cavaliers will use this as a safe space to retreat if the environment is too noisy for them or if they are tired and want somewhere quiet to go. You may even find that Cavaliers pick up on your schedule and will voluntarily go into their kennel when you are getting ready for your bed.

A popular option is to have a crate or a kennel with a blanket in your room and that way, they know that when you go to bed, they go to bed too.

How to toilet train

The main thing to remember when toilet training a dog is that the dog only wants to please you.

The main thing to remember when toilet training a dog is that the dog only wants to please you. The saddest thing is when a dog has been too harshly trained or punished and may suffer as a result. 

For example, if a dog needs to wee in the night and waits by the door. However, if you were asleep and cannot wake up the dog may whimper and cry until you wake up, or until it painfully lets out the waves in small bursts as it cannot hold it in anymore and fears retribution. This can be truly devastating and emotionally impact the dog.

You need to give a Cavalier as much independence as possible, while still maintaining the level of authority. This generally isn't an issue as Cavaliers generally gravitate towards anyone else in the room and automatically respect their leader. 

Sometimes their leader is an older dog, a dog who is more established in the territory, or sometimes it is a human. A dog needs to be toilet trained, yes but accidents do happen, and it is not the worst thing in the world. 

You can buy chemicals that come with a scrubbing brush or a sponge attached at the nozzle from most supermarkets now. This will fix the problem in 2 minutes. Cavaliers often know if you are not happy with them just from watching your actions. 

Cavalier Health

Please take the time to carefully read our Frequently Asked Questions.
Still have questions?! Please contact us

Cavalier ears are a distinct feature of the breed. Cavaliers by nature do not seem to be adverse to loud noises, like the starting of a car. Or even a truck going past on the highway. They will register this noise as interest and if they have not recognised it as a danger they will pursue it.

The ears seem to help muffle these noises. Where the Englishman who was hunting historically had muffles when shooting. The Cavaliers were protected by their version. However, this does mean that the Cavaliers' ears are bigger than the average dogs and require a little extra care.

Dogs, in general, require 2 main vaccinations, and these are given to them when they are puppies. There is one vaccination given around 6 to 8 weeks. A second one is given around 16 weeks. The dogs mustn't go to an area where there have been around other dogs until they have received both their first and second vaccinations. 

The second vaccination fights diseases that can kill your dog practically overnight. The vaccinations are administered by practically any vet that deals with canines. They generally do not cost much.

When it comes to giving the vaccination to your dog this takes place and only takes a minute or two. They insert the needle into the back of the neck and it needs to happen once a year. It is hardly noticeable at all for the dogs, in fact, sometimes they do not notice it at all.

One of the other common things that the vets will do is a microchip. However, under federal law, depending on where you are in the world, it is the breeders that do the microchipping now. 

Going to a vet should not be a scary prospect. You should eventually develop a good relationship with your vet. You can have a look on the internet to find local ones, then choose one that feels right to you, if you don’t already have one. 

From there all you need to do is either call them, sometimes now social media is even okay, or call them to get a quote and book an appointment. From there you take your Cavalier in, preferably in a pet carrier or a safety harness that clicks into your seat belts, and the vet will take care of the rest. 

You want your vet to be accommodating, compassionate, and reasonably priced. Unfortunately, with vets, it does not always necessarily mean that the vet is better if the price is higher. 

It is quite bureaucratic and has a demand-driven pricing structure. If you cannot travel easily, there are mobile vets. If you search these there are ones that come directly to your house. Always get a quote before allowing this to take place. 

It is a good idea, in general, to keep a note on your phone, or in your house where you can list questions that you have about your dog. These will often come up in conversation and it is a good idea to have a central place where you can write them down. That way when you go and see the vet you can ask them all of the appropriate questions that you have and you don’t forget any. 

Vets are also a great source of information about diets, grooming, and other general characteristics of particular dog breeds. You do however need to keep in mind that vets can be associated with particular pet food brands, brands of treatments, or medications. 

Vets can be sponsored or have an affiliation with particular brands. This does not necessarily mean that the food is best. At the end of the day, you will need to try them for yourself. 

Most major pet food brands are made by other companies which make foods for humans so you know that their facilities are clean and the food should mostly be healthy. You do need to look for one that is a complete diet and a reputable brand, however, it does not need to be the one that the vet necessarily recommends.

If the vet gives you options then you know that as long as the foods are not owned by the same brand then the vet’s recommendation may be worth sticking to and you may feel like you can trust them more.

What are worms for dogs And how do they affect the dogs?

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is there anything else we should know about worms and dogs? Are they transferable to humans or any other animals?

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How do I diagnose fleas?

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is there anything else we should know about worms and dogs? Are they transferable to humans or any other animals?

What are worms for dogs And how do they affect the dogs?How do I diagnose worms?How do I treat worms?what is the preventative treatment for wormsis there anything else we should know about worms and dogs? Are they transferable to humans or any other animals?

Every dog breed has its unique features and physical attributes. 

An overbite in a dog is simply when the upper and lower teeth are misaligned so that the front teeth hang over the back. 

Dogs can have either overbites, underbites, or a scissor jaw. A scissor jaw is considered normal whereas the other types are considered misaligned. 

In some breeds the overbites can be genetic, and in some breeds it can just show up out of the blue in a singular dog. 

It is common enough that it is part of the mandatory and routine vet check that every single puppy gets at its first vaccination. 

Overbites tend to be more common in breeds with medium to long muzzles, such as:

- Whippets

- Basset hounds 

- German shepherds 

- Greyhounds

- Border collies

- Dachshunds 

- Cavalier King Charles 

- Doberman pinschers 

- Afghan hounds  

However, overbites can also pop up in any dog from time to time, seemingly for no reason. 

It is common for overbites to be missed as it can develop when they are around 4 weeks old, and it can also naturally correct itself. The jaw has finished developing around 10 months of age so if the alignment has not corrected itself by then it is unlikely to do so afterword.

A severe overbite can potentially affect the dog in ways such as:

- Some food can fall out of the mouth whilst chewing 

- The dog may find a particular spot in their mouth that works best for chewing

- Bad breath 

- Irritation on the gums or jaw

Does an overbite require treatment?

Your vet will assess your dogs overbite at your routine or annual checkups. The treatment will depend on the severity of the impact of the overbite. More often that not, an overbite will simply be a cosmetic issue and provide no issue for the dog. 

Because the dog cant use its back teeth to chew how dogs normally do, they can develop tartar and calculus on the back teeth, or any teeth that aren’t being used as much as they normally would.

Your vet may recommend an annual dental clean if the overbite is causing a noticeable hygiene issue to the dog. 

If the vet deems the overbite severe, then it will be monitored at the check-ups and its possible that any interfering teeth be removed as the dog gets older. 

If a surgical option is required, there are a few treatment options, such as:

- Extracting any irritating teeth 

- Grinding or filing down any interfering teeth 

- Adjusting their position 

- Surgery on the jaw bone

Many dog owners believe that the overbite makes a dog look cuter and more unique. More often than not, an overbite is a cosmetic issue and may even correct itself. If further surgery is required, then it is only done to make the dog more comfortable. 

To this effect, dogs with overbites are normally available at a slightly discounted price to allow for any potential dental work. 


Please take the time to carefully read our Frequently Asked Questions.
Still have questions?! Please contact us

Dogs are omnivores. This does not necessarily mean that moving forward they need to exclusively eat diets based around meat, it does, however, mean that traditionally, and historically they have eaten meat and this has caused their bodies and brains to develop in the way that it has.

There is an unlimited amount of food available for dogs. This can be overwhelming for sure? There are wet foods dry foods canned foods and everything in between. All we need to keep in mind is that the dogs need a complete diet through their food and it is easy if this comes through one type of food in particular.

Most reputable dog food brands now that sell dry food that is small pallets in bags are a complete diet for the dog. This means that they do not need any more supplements because everything is in each of those pallets. This contains all of the diet requirements that canines require. They will get everything they need from these foods including calcium magnesium zinc iron Nutrients vitamins and minerals. A lot of the bigger brands that produce pet food also produced human food. 

There is a huge difference between a portion of cheap dog food and a portion of expensive dog food. However, there is not a lot of difference between the expensive ones. It is mostly branding and market positioning that does differentiate between them. A lot of the bigger brands of dog foods are made by the same company. 

At the end of the day, it doesn't necessarily matter as long as the dogs are getting everything that they need. Where you are there maybe even food that is specific for Cavaliers. If this is a full diet and buy a reputable company then they do not need anything else. This includes bones, vegetables, and scraps.

Gone are the days when you can feed your dog your leftover from dinner. Cavaliers are more sensitive and particular and need a very specific and regulated diet.

The most important nutrients that dogs need in their diet are things that they would get in the wild historically through the meat. The benefit of dogs eating meat from the wild is that those other animals or game had already processed and attained the nutrients needed. This would benefit the dog because the dog would be getting the whole meal.

For all of these reasons, we try to avoid giving the dogs anything except for a fool balanced diet, preferably in one single meal. It is important to remember that your lifestyle comes into the mix as well. Can you afford to be going to the shop every day or every second day to buy them fresh meat and vegetables and then cook them every single day of the year?

A puppy diet is slightly different. The food needs to be a little blander. There is a fine balance that the dog must learn. Firstly, not all food is a treat so that they can self-regulate. 

Secondly, they do need to eat. Puppies up until a certain age, around four to six weeks, will need food that is softened and wet. Dry foods come in different hardness levels. You will need to find one that your puppies can chew and is happy with.

Dry foods may not have a stronger smell to the dog than wet foods and therefore may not be as tempting. It is important, especially with puppies, to ensure that the dog is eating enough. You need to keep an eye on the dog’s feeding when it is a puppy. This is not possible 100% of the time you can check the dog's weight to ensure that it is growing and it looks about the right proportions.

The belly should not be too fat, in fact, sometimes this is an indication of worms. The belly should also not be too thin. You should be able to feel the rib cage, but not see it. 

If you believe the dog is eating more than necessary you can counterbalance it with exercise. For example, put the dog in the back of your backyard and then run to the front and the dog will chase you. This benefits the dog in other ways as well both physiologically and from a social perspective.

The pups will drink their mothers' milk for the first weeks. You will need to add a bowl of water, that is shallow, into the pen during that time. This should be changed daily while they're young. This should not be anything too big that the puppy can get stuck or drown in. Dogs drink water by lapping it up with their tongue. So a shallow dish would be enough.

One way to make Cavalier sick very fast is by dehydrating, Cavaliers must get enough water. Several water options are available through pet shops. Some self-watering ones are even connected to hoses or that you connect to a tap.

When the puppies start to want food that is more substantial than the milk, you may begin to slowly start weaning them onto a balanced diet. Some foods are specifically made for puppies, and some foods are specifically made for dogs up to certain ages. We recommend that you find a food that is specific for Cavaliers or toy dogs and specifically for their age range. This will give them the nutrients they need depending on their type and age.

If there is dry food and also a complete diet then this will be enough for the pup. If the pup does not immediately take to dry food you can try adding some boiling water (or cold water, if you're okay to wait a little longer) for it to soften. 

This may make it more appealing for them and will make it smell better. This will also give them more water in their diet. You can gradually lessen the amount of water that you add every day until it is dry food again. It is mostly about the dogs recognising that it is food.

Common additions to Cavaliers' diet, especially if their puppies, are rice and chicken breast. If you are going to give them raw chicken, you should ensure that there are no bones. Chicken bones are softer, however, with a puppy, they may get overly excited, especially if it is their first time having it. Therefore it is easier to use a chicken breast. 

It is OK to cook the chicken breast in a sealed bag in the microwave so it is not contaminated by anything else. You will know when it is cooked because it will turn white. You can shred this and add it to their dry food. An important thing to remember is that you are trying to wean them off everything except for dry food, ideally.

Therefore, the chicken should not be given as a treat or on a whim, it should only be given if the dogs are not eating their food and you are having trouble with them adapting their diet.

The second thing you can do, especially if they are having diarrhea or runny poo, is to add some rice in. This will make it blander for the dog and they will be able to digest it better. The chicken will do this too. Sometimes for the first few weeks, the best diet for a Cavalier puppy will be a bit of shredded chicken breast as well as some white rice and a little bit of dog food. 

The dry dog foods are made of different things, some may even contain chicken and so only need to be wet. However, this will be very nutrient-rich and will contain a lot that the dog will not yet be used to. You do not want your dog to be in pain or have an upset stomach. So a bland diet may be the best way to go until you are confident that your dog is happy with the food that they are eating and their poos are solid. Again, the aim is to wean them off everything except for the dry food.

Putting the necks in the freezer for at least 72 hours to kill off most bacteria. This will freeze out the risk of the dog being poisoned by salmonella or other food-borne contaminants.

It is equally important that if you cook the food you cook it above 90 degrees Celsius and then let it cool. Anything less than boiling to the touch is a thriving point for bacteria. It is not OK to half cook chicken or meat for your dog and then give it to them.

There are wet foods available for dogs, although we do not generally recommend them. You could use it instead of chicken although it is not as bland. If you find one made specifically for specialty or toy dogs and it is made by a reputable company then it may be okay. Although these foods are generally made because they allow more profit to the company. 

These may contain more sodium and the dogs will become addicted or dependent on this particular type of food. It is not a sustainable solution. It is sad when dogs become dependent on this and people who cannot afford these wet foods feel like it is the only thing that the dog will eat.

Of course, there is no hard and fast rule about what Cavaliers can and cannot eat, you do want to keep in mind that they do have everything that they need from their dry food diet. 

Cavaliers will eat anything that you give them because they love you. This will include vegetables and things that you would not normally expect a dog to like or eat. Where another dog may turn its nose away, a Cavalier will find that if you're eating it they will want it too. 

However, even vegetables will affect a dog if it is not part of their daily routine and diet. You should try to avoid giving them treats from the dinner table.

An important thing to remember is that many foods are toxic to dogs. The most commonly known one is cocoa, which is found in chocolate. 


These foods all affect dogs in different ways. For example, an avocado seed has cyanide in it. Before you feed any food to a dog, you need to know if they are okay to have it because Cavaliers will not be able to distinguish between what is healthy for them and what is not. They will simply take what you give them. 


The worst part about this is that some foods poison dogs over a long period. You may not notice that the dog is vomiting because it may be injured or damaged from the inside.


If you notice that your dog has eaten something that they absolutely shouldn't have, you must rush them to an emergency vet as soon as possible. There are 24-hour vets in most major cities now. It is worth calling them first and telling them what has happened so that they can prepare themselves for you. 

The vets deal with this daily and know how to handle the situation. Toxic food for a dog does not have to necessarily be edible. You may notice that they have eaten something sharp. It is your judgment call to decide what to do. It may be a long 24 hours. If there is a risk that the item will perforate the bowel, it can cause internal bleeding. It may be too late to fix this if you wait. It may not always be practical to rush your dog to the vet, however, there is a need to be cautious, and proactive. You need to use your judgment a little, and also trust your dog and your instinct.

Keeping Cavaliers Occupied During the Day

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Cavaliers, like Bulldogs, need to be kept occupied. This keeps dogs’ brains occupied and reduces destructive activities. Destructive activities can include chewing on furniture, doors, or even being self-destructive towards themselves. Their minds must be active when they want to. This can sometimes even be a substitute for exercise, as long as the toys are good enough.

With other dogs, this may give them hours of entertainment. Cavaliers may be interested in a short while, so it is worth your while having a few different toys that they can choose between.

There are good and bad toys for Cavaliers. There is a wide range and you can get them from any pet shop. It is hard to go wrong. But you have to keep safety in mind. We would recommend nothing cheap for use with animals and may contain toxic materials.

Lots of cheaper toys that you will find are discarded or old children’s toys repackaged for dogs. It is important that you purchase from a reputable brand within a reputable pet shop and preferably a toy that is specific for a Cavalier.

Cavaliers are not the type to be occupied a lot with toys. However, you need some to keep them stimulated in the instances that you can’t offer them exercise or you’re not around to fill that need for them.

Small-sized bungee ropes are a good toy for a Cavalier. Bungee ropes are elasticized ropes that are attached to either the ceiling, a doorway, or somewhere up higher and it allows them to tug at it.

Cavalier puppies are also particularly interested in squeaking and noisy toys. They try to understand them. Therefore, until they work out how the noise is made and get completely used to it, this is a good toy option.

Cavaliers also like things that speed past them or distract their attention, such as a ball or a stick. This does not mean that they will fetch it. But they do like looking for it once it is thrown, unless they get distracted. Anything that has a piece of elastic on it you can throw is another good option. It may be a good idea to keep a bucket with these toys in it somewhere safe so that you can rotate the toys as necessary.

When pups are growing their teeth, they chew on a wide variety of objects and constantly. Even at the best of times, cavalier puppies can end up chewing on your furniture or doors, so it is important to have toys so that they don’t feel the need to do this.

Chewing will occur while they’re teething.  We rarely find that adult dogs feel the need to chew things however if there is a fun toy they certainly will pay for it out of curiosity they certainly will chase after something that captures their interest, makes an interesting new noise for them such as a squeak or is something interesting that they are interested in exploring.

Particularly toys are better for puppies. There are some high-grade, high-density rubber toys made specifically for dogs. There are ones you can put snacks into, for example, their dry dog food, or even a smidge of a treat such as a tiny smear of peanut butter, or vegemite. We find that even putting regular dog food within these toys will make it enticing enough for the dogs to be interested in getting inside of it.

We do not recommend toys with stuffing for Cavaliers, as they can rip them apart and then eat the stuffing. We do not know how the stuffing reacts with their stomach acids, whether it even dissolves, what those chemicals will do to the dog, if toxic, or even if the stuffing will pass through.

Like babies, if dogs eat parts of toys that are cheap or that are not meant for dogs, there are a couple of issues that this can cause. Depending on the shape or how sharp the object is, the esophagus of the dog, stomach, or any other part where food passes through can be torn. This causes internal leakage, either of blood or acid. This is one of the fastest ways to kill your dog. Especially if you do not know what is going on.

Magnets can also be dangerous. If a dog eats a magnet and then something else metals, the two will try to attach, even if it is through ripping through organ walls. Small things that are sharp, such as earrings, are tempting to a dog because they have the scent of a human on them. If the dog sits down, this can puncture straight through many internal organs in the dog.

Cavaliers come with an interesting instinct, which is to bury a bone in a safe spot. From their perspective, this keeps the bone safe for use later. You may find that your Cavalier never goes back to it. The Cavaliers can also do this occasionally with toys. They want to mark the toy as their own.

They may be inclined to do this if their human companion keeps taking it away from them, even if it is to play and throw it. You may notice your dog is ready to bury their toy if they sit around at the end of a play session near a door and whine. They may pick up the toy, walk over to their bed, and try to bury it in their blanket. When this does not satisfy them, they pick up the toy again and whine to go outside. This is where they may bury the bone or toy.


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Historically and traditionally, dogs have always played with bones. Bones contain a lot of different nutrients, especially bones, such as marrow bones. This can be very good for the dog but can be hard for them if they have too much. The body will flush out the excess.

There are a few risks with bones. You should never feed your Cavalier any sort of cooked bone. Because the bone is then weakened and can splinter. A splintered bone may be swallowed by a Cavalier and then it may puncture the internal organs of the Cavalier. This can lead to death or serious injury.

Chicken bones, although soft, are at risk of being swallowed whole by a dog and then choking on it. If the dogs are not used to receiving bones, they can get overly excited. 

This can be dangerous or fatal for the dogs, especially in the case of a chicken neck. It is soft and malleable and just big enough to swallow whole. This can block their airway. Best case scenario, if this happens, is the dog is able to heave up the chicken neck, however this is not always the case. This is something to be very careful of. We never recommend giving chicken bones. But a lot of Cavalier owners do.

Bones are not necessary, if you are giving your Cavalier a complete diet via a dry food. However, if you would like to keep your Cavalier especially occupied, give them a treat, or you feel like you want to test the waters, you can give them a bone. 

We recommend that you go to a butcher and get a marrow bone, chopped into pieces around one to two inches long. A Cavalier will be occupied for a couple hours with this. If they do not get to finish it they will bury it in the garden and go and retrieve it later to finish it. It would be rare for a Cavalier to sacrifice willingly or forget about an unfinished bone. Cavaliers will love to eat the marrow out of the middle. These bones should not be cooked. You can keep marrow bones in the freezer, meaning if you get one marrowbone chopped into several pieces they may last a year or so.

Dealing with the loss of a Cavalier

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“Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. 

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….”

— Author unknown

"I was just a pup when we first met, I loved you from the start

You picked me up and took me home and placed me in your heart.

Good times we had together, we shared all life could throw.

But years passed all too quickly, my time has come to go.

I know how much you will miss me, I know your heart is sore.

I see the tears that fall when I’m not waiting at the door.

You always did your best for me, your love was plain to see.

For even though it broke your heart, you set my spirit free.

So please be brave without me, one day we’ll meet once more.

For when you’re called to heaven, I’ll be waiting at the door."

-Author unknown